Women Giving Birth

Why has women giving birth become such a controversial subject?

Women have been giving birth since the dawn of creation. We wouldn’t exist as a species if pregnancy and childbirth were not inherently natural processes that our bodies are fully capable of.

newborn skin to skin

So why has a woman giving birth become a “medical condition” where interventions are common and the cesarean rate is skyrocketing? Why does the United States – a “leader” in medical care – rank #33 in the world for infant and maternal mortality… a ranking that puts us behind most of the other developed countries and many undeveloped countries??

I don’t want to get into the politics behind the current situation. It is what is what it is. I’m just alerting you that if you want to deliver your baby naturally, it is essential for you to plan carefully. You will be working against the established system. It can be done, but you need to set yourself up for success. I know you are tight on time, so I’m going to boil the information down for you.

The key things you need to know are:

  • How to set yourself up for success – deciding where to deliver and who will be in attendance.
  • Preparing for a natural childbirth - how to stay healthy and low risk during your pregnancy by focusing on diet and exercise.
  • Natural childbirth methods - that will give you the greatest chances of success, like the Bradley Method.
  • What to expect during childbirthlabor stages, avoiding unnecessary pain.

Not convinced that natural childbirth is right for you? Check out natural childbirth (coming soon) page to find out why it is the best way of giving birth for both you and your baby.

Short on time? Check out Natural Childbirth Tips for key advice.

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Deciding Where to Deliver

One of the most important things women giving birth need to decide is where they plan to deliver and who will be in attendance. You give yourself the best chances of having a wonderful birth experience if you plan to deliver your baby in an environment you are comfortable in with people you trust surrounding you. Why? Stress can slow down or even stop labor, setting you up for all kinds of interventions.

Things to consider when you are deciding where to labor and deliver:

  • Who is allowed to be in the room when you deliver?
  • Who will be in attendance to provide support and encouragement as you labor?
  • How will your baby be monitored while you are in labor?
  • Will you be encouraged to move, walk and change positions during labor?
  • Will there be any time limits on how long you are allowed to labor or push?
  • What positions will you be allowed to deliver in?
  • Will you be encouraged to breastfeed your baby immediately after the birth and have at least an hour to bond before baby is taken away to be examined?
  • What kind of examination will baby receive after delivery? When will it take place and where?
  • When will you be allowed to return home?

As you start looking at your options for childbirth labor and delivery, you will quickly realize that your delivery experience will vary widely depending on where you are and who is in attendance.

You may not realize it, but you are not limited to delivering in a hospital.

There are two other very safe alternatives out there that we think are better if your goal is natural birth. Birth centers are a great choice for busy, working parents who want to deliver naturally surrounded by warm friendly, childbirth experts following natural birthing protocols. …People who really know how to support a woman giving birth.

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Choosing natural childbirth can be hard enough. Deciding to go for a home birth may cause your friends and relatives to look at you as if you have lost your mind. However, delivering at home with an experienced midwife is also an excellent option. Most people don’t realize that the consensus from the research shows that homebirth is as safe as or safer than hospital birth for low-risk women with a skilled birth attendant. (Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/927196?dopt=abstract)

Delivering naturally in a hospital setting will take some careful planning. Check out Women Giving Birth in a Hospital for tips on how to set yourself up for success. When delivering in the hospital, there are two big obstacles you need to consider.

The first thing women giving birth need to know is that you may have the very best OB in the world, but he or she may not be on call when you go into labor. You need to understand what happens if they aren't on call.

The second thing women giving birth need to know is that the moment that your baby is born, it is the pediatrician who makes all the decisions about how to treat your baby. Often this is on on-call hospital pediatrician that you have no control over. They will have their own opinions regarding when the cord is cut, whether or not baby can stay on your chest immediately after birth and whether they are willing to delay their newborn exam until after you have had the opportunity to breastfeed.

The Best Way to Learn and Evaluate Your Options

Learn what you don't know!

Sign up for a Bradley Method of Childbirth Preparation Class – the best education for preparing your body as well as your birthing partner for a childbirth. Bradley method classes also help you with with labor pain management as well as with birth planning and evaluating all your options.

Take an online Childbirth Preparation Class. While we prefer in person childbirth classes, if you absolutely cannot squeeze one in then at least take an online class. Our favorite online class is "StudyWomb™ StudyWomb™.